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Why Predicting 2023’s Retail Trends Isn’t so Easy


It’s that time of year again, when predictions for the following year appear in the press and media. With this year coming to an end, I wanted to take a look at 2022’s predictions using Vogue Business’ 2022 fashion-tech prediction report from January 4, 2022. 

6 Vogue Business fashion-tech predictions for 2022:

  1. Digital influencing, PFPs and Avatars*
  2. Mapping unreal real estate*
  3. AR and smart glasses look ahead*
  4. Personalization’s onward march**
  5. Store technology isn’t stagnating***
  6. NFTs, loyalty and legalities*

The list is categories seems appropriately very “2022” (or at least until the bottom fell out in June) with a strong emphasis on Web 3.0. In fact, four of the six predictions are Web 3.0, one is e-commerce-centered, and the third is a piece of the brick-and-mortar puzzle.

These days, the pendulum may have shifted as Web 3.0 is no longer the shiny new object, e-commerce is hurting, and brick and mortar (perhaps the tortoise of the group,) remains slow and steady. 

Because there is intrigue, interest, and adoption from formerly digitally native brands (rebranded as direct-to-consumer) to open physical retail has become commonplace. Call the group whatever you want, but brick-and-mortar has emerged as a major strategy for formerly digital-only brands. Heck, even the Business of Fashion writes that wholesale (for brick and mortar) is “back”.

So what does 2023 look like? A mess. Seriously, it’s ugly out there.

Predictions for 2023 will be nearly impossible as the macroeconomic conditions are just too volatile. So be wary of the listicles coming your way. Instead, focus on some actions.

How to approach next year for both DTC and B2B:


  1. Don’t stop communication. Keep telling your story. If you have to cut back on ad spending then try this:
    • Ecomm: If Facebook ads are not productive, reevaluate email. It still works great.
    • B2B: really double down on using LinkedIn and LinkedIn ads.
  2. Stop throwing discounts at clients to get them to buy again. By doing so, you will reduce your CAC and focus on the 80/20 rule during times of contraction.
  3. Brands and Private Label: If you are not using Customer Insights technology, start now. (Actually, start yesterday).
  4. The List:
    • Retailers and brands: make The List that includes your current technology solutions, and evaluate how they performed for you. Review areas of the business that caused churn, returns, and revenue loss and see if you have a tech solution for it. What happened? Audit your tech. Seek better solutions.

B2B: Be such a great solution that the audit (above) exceeds expectations.

In conclusion, if flat is the new up, take a hard look at your strategies. History tells us that those who spend into a contraction survive the longest. If this seems unfathomable at the current moment, that’s fair. But I recommend making unconventional decisions, not just easy and obvious ones. Look for a way to keep telling the story well into 2023. Buckle up kids, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.